Q&A on the News

Q: What does it take for a vehicle line to be recalled? — F.P. Hippmann, Decatur

A: Vehicles are recalled when that model, or part of the model's equipment, isn't in compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, according to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. It wrote: "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set minimum performance requirements for those parts of the vehicle that most affect its safe operation (brakes, tires, lighting) or that protect drivers and passengers from death or serious injury in the event of a crash (air bags, safety belts, child restraints, energy absorbing steering columns, motorcycle helmets). These federal standards are applicable to all vehicles and vehicle-related equipment manufactured or imported for sale in the United States (including U.S. territories) and certified for use on public roads and highways." Consumers can go to safercar.gov for safety information, recalls and investigations. Automakers have recalled more than 9 million cars in the U.S. this year, which is on pace to break the record of 30.8 million recalls in 2004. Toyota recently recalled 1.8 million vehicles to fix a wide range of issues, including air bags that don't inflate. General Motors earlier this month recalled 2.6 million small vehicles because of defective ignition switches that have led to the deaths of 13 people. GM had recalled 5.6 million cars and Toyota had recalled 2.85 million in 2014, through April 9.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).